John and Nicole Salisbury are co-owners of Modern Yoga, a vinyasa studio located in the heart of McCormick Ranch. With more than 60 weekly classes for all levels of yoga practitioners, they pride themselves on operating a family-owned studio with the philosophy that yoga is for everyone, even if you can’t touch your toes.

“You will often find our 6-year-old, Ryder, hanging out at the front desk, or you may meet our studio bird, Larry, the mustached parakeet who lives there full time,” Nicole says. 

Both she and John are Arizona natives, John being born and raised in the Scottsdale area. They moved to McCormick Ranch to raise their son and decided that they wanted to open a yoga studio right in their own community.

“With a small child and lots of pets at home (two dogs, three cats, four birds, two pigs, and 13 tortoises to be exact), it was important to us to be close. John has taught in the Scottsdale community for over 20 years and has built a following of loyal, dedicated yoga practitioners who were eager for Modern Yoga to open.”

Aside from their thriving business, the family is heavily involved in philanthropic efforts statewide. It is essential to them to give back and take inspiration from others who are doing the same.

Work with animals:

+ “We are very involved in helping and donating to the Selah House and Carefarm in Sedona, Arizona. I have two friends who have both lost children and have received grief counseling from Dr. Joanne Cacciatore at the Carefarm. They have both told me she saved their lives after their losses, so it hits very close to home. It is the only place like it in the United States. Dr. Cacciatore rescues abused and abandoned animals, and bereaved families go there to receive grief counseling and work with the animals for healing. The animals learn to trust and love again while the families heal. I have a special connection to the farm; two pigs I have rescued from bad situations now live at the farm and give lots of love to families who really need it.”

+ “One of the many things I love about owning a business is the community it has created. I am that crazy person who will run through traffic to rescue a loose dog or spend hours in 115 degrees to rescue kittens. I rescue 10-15 animals per year, and our community has really stepped up and has helped me find homes for all of these animals, from dogs, cats and 110-pound tortoises to pigs—you name it, and I will rescue it.”

Inspiration to continue helping others through yoga:

+ “My husband was inspired by his stepfather, Dave Oliver. He was a yoga teacher in Scottsdale until he passed away in 2014. He introduced John to yoga in his early 20s, and it changed his life and has provided him many opportunities. I believe my husband is able to continually give the same gift his stepfather gave him to hundreds, if not thousands of people over the years. I know he is an inspiration within our community and has helped many people. I can’t go more than a few days without being stopped by someone who recognizes me as ‘John’s wife,’ and they tell me how wonderful he is, how he has helped them and in some cases, changed their lives.”